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Worship Metal’s 15 Albums You Needed to Hear in January 2022!

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Descent – Order Of Chaos [Australia]

<br />Descent - Order of Chaos

Genre: Death Metal / Black Metal / Hardcore

Released: January 14th 2022

***Advance warning. This review is a cop-out***

There’s very little point in us breaking down Descent‘s Order Of Chaos song by song as you need only soak up its accompanying world-ending artwork to get the measure of this album.

So, go on. Soak up that cataclysmic scene and imagine the musical equivalent of such an overwhelming end to all existence. Finished. Good. That noise in your head….that’s Order Of Chaos, that is.

An aural assault of apocalyptic proportions, Descent‘s Order Of Chaos is, unsurprisingly, 29 mins of absolute extremes metal mayhem! 7/10

Druid Lord – Relics Of The Dead [USA]

Druid Lord - Relics of the Dead Review | Angry Metal Guy

Druid Lord’s latest collection of grotesque offerings spews up a smorgasbord of unsavoury treats for death/doom lovers to chew on. These fetid Floridians aren’t exactly prolific – fans have waited 8 years for Relics Of The Dead – but then death/doom isn’t renowned for its speedy approach….so we can forgive them for such tardiness.

At its rotten core, Relics of the Dead is neanderthal death/doom delivered with such a lumpen, laboured and laborious approach that your attention should surely dissipate after just the first few minutes of Relics Of The Dead’s self-titled, bum-numbing opener and yet, such a convincingly morbid atmosphere of prevailing dread is established that you simply cannot turn away (or, turn it off). This continues with “Thirteen Days Of Death” and when the pace increases as the ‘death’ takes over the ‘doom’, the desire to maim, mutilate and murder reaches fever pitch as Druid Lord hold you firmly in their hideous grasp. 

A supernatural horror-fest made flesh, Relics of the Dead’s haunting sounds of the decaying, demented dead crawling from their graves to rip you apart limb from limb echoes the extremities of horror cinema (Andrea Bianchi’s cult classic Burial Ground aka The Zombie Dead springs to mind). This brings to mind that age-old equation…. horror + death/doom = happy metallers. 8/10

Eliminator – Ancient Light [UK]

Ancient Light | Eliminator

Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal

Released: January 14th, 2022

If the snooze-fest that was Senjutsu (yep, we weren’t fans!) left you feeling cold and in dire need of the warming embrace of some top-tier UK heavy fuckin’ metal then the roaring fire of Eliminator‘s Ancient Light is the album for you!

Twin guitar leads, galloping bass, soaring vocals….Ancient Light has the lot, but it’s no mere retread of NWOBHM glories either. Utterly convincing and bursting at the seams with ideas, whether Eliminator are firing on all cylinders – such as on the ironically merciless “Mercy” – or embracing the epic on album closer “The Nightmare of Aeon”, every inch of Ancient Light is trimmed of fat and as lean and taught as they come.

Masters of trad meta! 9/10

Ereb Altor – Vargtimman [Sweden]

<br />Ereb Altor - Vargtimman

Genre: Viking / Black Metal / Pagan Metal 

Released: January 14th, 2022 via Hammerheart Records

Following on from 2019’s accomplished album Jartecken,Swedish epic Viking/black metallers Ereb Altor continued to impress with new album, Vargtimman. With their post-metal / Pagan metal take on Bathory-inspired black metal proving ever fertile, the songs found here were often wistful, always transformative and, particularly on the likes of the rabid “Rise of the Destroyer”, majestic and marauding.    

“Rise of the Destroyer” aside, Ereb Altor’s black metal leanings did feel slightly tempered, with the vocals often favouring a baritone holler as opposed to the obligatory shriek and the band seeming to ‘wander’ with purpose instead of raping and pillaging at will. A compromise which worked in Ereb Altor’s favour as when they did open up – such as on the mesmerising “Alvablot” – the shackles of black metal trappings were well and truly shaken off.

Back-loaded with its best tracks (the hypnotic beats and staccato riffing of “Ner I Morkret” are an instant attention grabber), Ereb Altor’s latest release was clearly a cut above the normal blood and thunder of Viking metal 8/10

Fit For An Autopsy – Oh What The Future Holds [USA]

FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY - announce new album! - Nuclear Blast

Genre: Deathcore

Released: January 14, 2022 via Nuclear Blast

Past albums may have already showcased a band willing to push the boundaries of deathcore to its limits (practically until it is deathcore no more) but Fit For An Autopsy‘s Oh What The Future Holds is the album to see them surpass even Whitechapel in the popularity stakes. “In Shadows” may follow a more traditional path – a well-trodden one, it must be said – but there’s something ultimately grander about these songs; a sense of supreme confidence and ability perfectly coalesced. Put simply, this shit makes you move. It makes you smash shit up. It forces you to listen and reminds you why you love metal in the first place. Because it’s fuckin’ brilliant.      

After absorbing this beast more times than is probably healthy, our only conclusion is to label Fit For An Autopsy as the Gojira of deathcore. Incidentally, that’s not a slur. With the ‘deathcore’ in their sound now all but gone, FFAA are thinking BIG. They’re entering a world of arena-sized songs, tempered/finessed for wider appeal and they are primed to make the kind of leap into the big leagues as previously made by DecapitatedTrivium and the aforementioned Gojira. Need proof? Even the breakdown in thrashy little number “Pandora” offers the kind of impact seasoned pro’s look for, but avoids switching off those not normally accustomed to such barbarity. 

Heavy as shit then….but acceptably heavy. You know, sell a ton of merchandise and gig tickets heavy. Which is something to be applauded. The next step for these guys could very well be HUGE! 9/10

Lawnmower Deth – Blunt Cutters [UK]

LAWNMOWER DETH - Blunt Cutters Vinyl at Juno Records.

Genre: Thrash

Released: January 28th, 2022 via Dissonance Productions

Crank up them mowers, it’s UK thrash time…..and we have legends in our midst. Lawnmower Deth may have been quiet on the recorded output front (fans have waited 29 years for this new release) but they’re back baby, and they’re here to stay!

While “Raise Your Snails” is pure Lawnmower Deth lunacy at its finest, “Into The Pit” (not a cover of the Testament track, Lawnmower Deth don’t need to cover those losers) is a back-snapping ode to the joys of moshing (even at our frankly inappropriate age) as we’re instructed to enter the “Deth pit, lose your shit. Slip your disc, pain kill death”. Better do as the Deth say, as these guys mean business. That’s right thrashers, despite their deserved reputation for being one of the funniest bands on the planet, Lawnmower Deth can still deliver the ‘heavy’ when they want to, meaning Blunt Cutters is so much more than just a mere novelty record.

A sublime piece of crossover tomfoolery, the long awaited return of Lawnmower Deth in album form is already the best thing of 2022.

Do you dare to convince us otherwise?! 8/10

Necrophagous – In Chaos Ascend [Sweden]

In Chaos Ascend (Death Metal) | NECROPHAGOUS (Sweden) | Necrophagous

Genre: Death Metal

Released: January 7th via Transcending Obscurity Records

With a high quota of Deicide-esque brutality (think Serpents Of The Light), you’d be forgiven for assuming new death metal trio Necrophagous have come crawling from the fetid swamps of Florida. But you’d be wrong smartass! We’re in Swedish death metal territory here and with the band made up of former members of the mighty Entrails, expectations for this new venture are understandably high. 

Solid grooves inform the likes of the title track and this is where the ‘Swedish’ element of their work truly rears its ugly, malformed head. With a nod to the relatively mid-tempo chug of prime Grave, the band are arguably at their best when locked into these mammoth grooves. In fact, while diversity remains at a minimum, this is not to Necrophagous’ detriment and it’s a joy to simply press play and headbang away. 7/10 

Power Paladin – With The Magic Of Windfyre Steel [Iceland]

<br />Power Paladin - With the Magic of Windfyre Steel

Genre: Power Metal

Released: January 7th, 2022 via Atomic Fire Records

Still pumped up on a particularly powerful batch of aged brie you scoffed over Christmas and in need of a musical outlet to purge the whiffy cheese from your veins? Then Power Paladin‘s outrageous With The Magic of Windfyre Steel is the album for you!

An absolute joy of an album, With The Magic of Windfyre Steel is a high-energy blast through every facet of power metal’s wondrous oeuvre and, frankly, Iceland’s Power Paladin have no right sounding this self-assured on just their debut album. With sound and aesthetic already perfectly aligned it’s a case of just sitting back and soaking up the madness….and the hyper-speed of the Helloween-esque “Righteous Fury” is just the ticket (replete with some surprising death metal vocals which came out of chuffin’ nowhere).

Absolutely, magnificently, power-metally fantastic! 8/10

Wilderun – Epigone [USA]

Review WILDERUN 'Epigone' – Markus' Heavy Music Blog

Genre: Symphonic Progressive Metal / Folk Metal

Released: January 7th, 2022 via Century Media Records

It goes without saying but we listen to a lot (a lot!) of music and, despite critique, it’s all worthy of merit. We are in awe of the effort and talent involved in all musical creation – warts and all – but every now and then, an album and/or a band pops up that transcends 99% of their peers.

Wilderun are one such band and Epigone is one such album.

A sprawling progressive masterpiece of both tender beauty and cathartic rage, Wilderun’s sound is one that often marries the progressive quirkiness of the Canterbury scene (see Caravan and their ilk) with the kind of symphonic progressive death metal that induces palpitations (think Opeth at their most opulent…but bigger), Epigone is an album to lose yourself in.

Be in no doubt. Epigone will feature high on 2022’s end of year lists.

Utterly, utterly sublime. 9/10

Wolfbastard – Hammer the Bastards [UK]

ALBUM REVIEW: Hammer The Bastards - Wolfbastard - Distorted Sound Magazine

Genre: Black Metal / Crust Punk

Released: January 14th 2022 via Clobber Records

A certifiable cunt of a record, Wolfbastard‘s aptly titled Hammer The Bastards is as raw and as abrasive start to 2022 as you could possibly hope for. And, judging on how the past few years have panned out, 2022 bloody deserves it too! You know the drill. Venom meets early Celtic Frost meets Amebix in a D-beat blasting mix of old-school rage and new-school clamour.

Ugly, aggressive and without an ounce of finesse or care for your wellbeing, Wolfbastard are here to remind you that all is shit. And yet this shit is good.

Consider yourselves clobbered, ya bastards you! 7/10

Those were the 15 albums that knocked our ruddy socks off this January. Pop your favourites in the comments below…..

About Chris Jennings (1985 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

2 Comments on Worship Metal’s 15 Albums You Needed to Hear in January 2022!

  1. Glenn Leaper // February 11, 2022 at 6:16 pm // Reply

    These lists are excellent, Chris – cheers! Really enjoyed this, and it’s extremely useful. Wilderun was a hell of a revelation!

    • Chris Jennings // February 15, 2022 at 8:33 am // Reply

      Cheers bud! It’s hard to wade through the sheer numbers of metal/rock releases nowadays so hopefully these lists help to hone in on the ‘good’ stuff \m/

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